UK charity helps vulnerable women find jobs – and their confidence

Sep 14, 2017   |   Suzanne Choney

Selina Motlieb, who visited Smart Works, smiles after trying on clothes
Selina Motlieb tries on work apparel at Smart Works.

Single parent Selina Motlieb was looking for work, but a lack of self-confidence held her back at crucial one-to-one meetings. Sometimes she wouldn’t even make it that far: when she found a job she liked, it was tricky to find the time to attend interviews and look after her son, too. The employer would move on to other applicants.

One of Motlieb’s biggest concerns when she went to interviews was the way she was dressed – “I didn’t feel I was wearing the right clothes,” she says. That changed when she was introduced to Smart Works, a charity that helps thousands of women each year, providing them with suitable clothes for job interviews, as well as a coaching session.

Smart Works operates six sites across Britain. Microsoft Azure, Dynamics, Office and SharePoint play key roles in booking appointments for the women Smart Works helps, gathering feedback and giving those in charge an overview of the whole business so they can run a reliable and professional service that puts their clients first.

“Almost half of our clients have failed at more than 20 interviews. That’s a really tough place to be in,” says Kate Stephens, chief executive of the London branch of Smart Works. “Often, there is not that support around them that others might be able to access, whether that’s someone to talk to, or advice, or a network to rely on. In the two hours they’re here, we try to give them some support.” She adds: “When was the last time you had somebody spend one-to-one time with you for two hours? It’s very rare.”

And it makes a world of difference. After meeting with the Smart Works team, Motlieb went on an interview for a property company – and got the job.

Read the story on Microsoft News Centre UK.

Suzanne Choney
Microsoft News Center Staff

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